Apple seeks metal experts to craft devices from Liquidmetal

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple is hiring a number of experts on amorphous metals, as the company looks to create hardware constructed from a newly licensed, super-durable custom metal alloy known as "Liquidmetal."



AppleInsider discovered a number of new job listings this week (1, 2, 3) related to developing amorphous metal alloys for use in future Apple products. The company is looking for an amorphous metal development manager and two metal process development engineers to work at its Cupertino, Calif., corporate headquarters.



Apple seeks extremely qualified applications for the positions, as candidates for the engineering roles must have 7 years of experience in manufacturing consumer electronics, while the manager must have 10 years of experience.



The listings refer to the positions as "highly visible" roles at Apple that will involve composition, molding and forming processes with amorphous alloys. The employees will also play a part in secondary operations, such as machining, grinding and finishing of the material.



Apple is looking to fill the positions soon after the company obtained exclusive rights to a metal alloy known as Liquidmetal, an agreement first revealed by AppleInsider in August. Developed at the California Institute of Technology, the material's amorphous, non-crystalline structure makes it harder than alloys of titanium or aluminum.



Apple and the owner of the alloy, Liquidmetal Technologies, entered into an agreement that gives Apple the exclusive right to use the material in the field of electronics. In exchange, Apple paid a licensing fee to Liquidmetal Technologies that was worth at least $10.9 million.







The material can be cast precisely, with little or no need for machining. It was given a trial run by Apple with the SIM ejector tool that has shipped with versions of the iPhone and 3G iPad.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The company is looking for an amorphous metal development manager and two metal process development engineers to work at its Cupertino, Calif., corporate headquarters.







    Very, very cool. I hope that they advance the SOTA.
  • Reply 2 of 48
    Maybe they should take a look at former Sandisk engineers since they were the first to use 'liquid metal' in the construction of their media players back in 2006.
  • Reply 3 of 48
    I see transparent aluminum screens in Apple's future, or at least transparent metal.
  • Reply 4 of 48
    Maybe that is what the Steve Jobs ninja stars were made out of.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kspen View Post


    Maybe that is what the Steve Jobs ninja stars were made out of.



    Forged from Ninja Metal.
  • Reply 6 of 48
    Apple had a job posting for a carbon fiber manufacturing expert about a year ago. I wonder if they just gave up on the material. Or maybe they've decided that they need Liquidmetal enclosures with carbon fiber internal reinforcement?



    Either way, the MacBook Air is getting a little dated. I'd expect the next one to be shockingly thin and light. (Wild guesses: 10mm max thickness, physical keyboard replaced by AMOLED touch-screen keyboard/trackpad combo.)
  • Reply 7 of 48
    Sounds like Apple could have a T2 Iphone version to compete with the R2D2 Droid 2.
  • Reply 8 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post


    Either way, the MacBook Air is getting a little dated. I'd expect the next one to be shockingly thin and light. (Wild guesses: 10mm max thickness, physical keyboard replaced by AMOLED touch-screen keyboard/trackpad combo.)



    For people who touch type (professionals who are productive), any "on screen" keyboards are not so convenient as a physical keyboard.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ch2co View Post


    Does this mean that future iPhones will bounce of the sidewalk better? That bouncing ball seems a little too bouncy to me.



    Try to catch your iPhone after you dropped it.











    Basically, what the guy in video says: "our metal is better for the purposes it is designed for than the other metals which are not designed for such purposes".
  • Reply 9 of 48
    Does this mean that future iPhones will bounce of the sidewalk better? That bouncing ball seems a little too bouncy to me.
  • Reply 10 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Newtron View Post


    Very, very cool. I hope that they advance the SOTA.



    Plus how cool is it to have a title like "Manager of Amorphous Metal Development."
  • Reply 11 of 48
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Can anyone tell me the part # on that sim ejector? need one for the collection.
  • Reply 12 of 48
    WOW Bouncy MACS!!!



    On a more serious note, I don't get it, the strength of metal is in it's crystalline structure, who can a non crystalline amorphous (no form literally) material be stronger????
  • Reply 13 of 48
    Apple Job Ad:



    "Seeking representatives from the memetic poly-alloy family. We require your expertise in forming knives and stabbing weapons. It is not necessary that you be able to form complex machines or moving parts, only that you be able to mold a trap around any iPhone 5 user that attempts to jailbreak our device while we dispatch the ninjas."
  • Reply 14 of 48
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Maybe Steve wants to make LiquidMetal throwing stars.
  • Reply 15 of 48
    A new feature for the next iPhone will be the ability to drop your iPhone and catch it while it bounces back up. "drop your iPhone a lot? Don't worry, simply catch it when it bounces back up!" lol
  • Reply 16 of 48
    I want that in my next MacBook.
  • Reply 17 of 48
    xsuxsu Posts: 401member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    WOW Bouncy MACS!!!



    On a more serious note, I don't get it, the strength of metal is in it's crystalline structure, who can a non crystalline amorphous (no form literally) material be stronger????



    amorphous metals are usually alloys. And alloys are at their best when the component elements are mixed evenly. If allowed to crystallize, different elements in the alloys form small clumps, resulting in weak boundary layers, decreasing metal performance.
  • Reply 18 of 48
    One quick note for those who may not have gotten it: the ball is not made out of LiquidMetal--the surface it is bouncing on is. All three balls are made from steel.
  • Reply 19 of 48
    tsatsa Posts: 129member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post


    WOW Bouncy MACS!!!



    On a more serious note, I don't get it, the strength of metal is in it's crystalline structure, who can a non crystalline amorphous (no form literally) material be stronger????



    Because when a metal or an alloy has crystals in it, the crystal planes can easily slide past each other when the metal is under stress. This makes the metal weaker than necessary. In an amorphous metal there are no crystal planes. It essentially has a liquid "structure" in which the atoms are randomly ordered. That means it has no crystal planes, and no way way for the atoms to easily move, making it very resiliant and strong.
  • Reply 20 of 48
    Now they just need to perfect "rubberglass".
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